Posts Tagged ‘cruising’

Defeated candidate to “go on a cruise.”

Perhaps the “mortgage meltdownbooking trends can be defeated post election.  That is, if all candidates follow Democrat Ian McGaughey’s lead.

After losing the 112th Assembly District election in upstate New York to Republican Anthony Jordan, McGaughey “plans to get married Nov. 12 and go on a cruise.”

 

 

 

 

 

McGaughey, a businessman from Wilton told supporters he knew he had to run an uphill campaign in the predominantly Republican Assembly district and was proud of his effort in the race. The job came with a two-year term and a $79,500 salary.

The 112th Assembly District includes all of Washington County New York, five Saratoga County towns (Wilton, Malta, Saratoga, Northumberland and Stillwater) and the city of Mechanicville.

No word yet on which cruise line was chosen.

Reminds me of the genius and long running "I'm going to Disney World" spots that have been shown after each Superbowl since 1987 and now include American Idol winners.

 

Source: Schenectady Gazette

 

Biggest Ever All Deaf Cruise Aboard the Freedom of the Seas

If you are a reader of my blogs, you know I love unique.  And it doesn't get much more unique than combining the biggest ever all deaf cruise with Justin Kent, the inventor of the world’s first MIDI Turntable, an optical system for DJing video.

DJ/VJ Justin Kent created history October 28, 2007 when he joined with the Sencity team (Sign Dancers, Deaf Dancers, Aroma Jockeys) to transform sound into vision. Performing with his signature EJ Turntable, Justin turned the Freedom of the Seas into a South Beach nightclub.

By spinning rhythmic visuals for 2,000 hearing impaired guests, he helped the passengers feel the music, whether or not they could hear it.  Kent told Cruisemarketwatch it “gave me an unprecedented opportunity to focus on how the music looks, for people that experience vision and sound in a totally different way. This might be the biggest challenge a DJ could possibly face.” For more info, visit Passages Deaf Travel.

 

The Mortgage Meltdown: The Consumer Behavior Impact

 

The current crisis will be reminiscent of the post 911 "cocooning" phenomena that lead, to among other things, a revolution in kitchen home remodeling towards creating larger and more accommodating spaces to share and enjoy with friends and family.

A new post "Mortgage Meltdown" economy will manifest itself in everything from food (smaller portions) to shopping (socially and environmentally conscious) and excursions (healthy, smaller social footprint).  For the next several years, keywords will be caring, self-consciousness, reflection on "what's really important" and restraint - the opposite of anything appearing as gluttony or greed.

According to a new Ad Age article, Celebrity "is said to be pondering whether its messaging, which uses the 'Starring you' tagline to focus on the pampering, indulgent treatment it offers guests, is right for the economically challenged times."

 

Turmultous Ride for Carnival Stock Price

Carnival shares have certainly experienced considerable volatility the past few weeks, rebounding from 3-year lows in early July only to be knocked down a second time. Given an unusually aggressive analyst downgrade, possibility of high long-term oil prices and a stunningly scary national economy the pps is actually holding up pretty well.

The short-term technicals indicated a buy signal when the stock bounced after the downgrade news, moving back above the $34 mark.

PPS rode below the lower bollinger band, RSI turned up, MACD line turned up and Slow Stochastics headed above the 20 mark (note arrows in chart, click for details).

Today, CCL has resistance in the lower $37's and I would sell a move into that area.

In the mid-term range the stock is likely to test the $30 area again. A move below support at $34 indicates a short sell opportunity with a cover at $30.

Deutsche Securities massive one time -39% drop in price target for Carnival to $32 from $52.50 was intriguing.  He cited Carnival’s “need [for] a ‘strategic shift’ to cope with high fuel prices and shipbuilding costs.” Suggesting “with rising shipbuilding costs exacerbating this issue, we believe that Carnival needs to shift to a returns-driven philosophy, where the group raises cruise prices and reduces commissions.”

Interestingly with all the recent shipbuilding activity, there comes a danger of overbuilding - if one company adds a ship, then the other company needs to add one too just to maintain its market share. The challenge will be to know when to stop short of "mutually assured over capacity."

Long-term it is widely agreed there is much positive growth remaining for cruise lines. But with a tougher economy as a possibility over the next couple of years, and higher fuel costs cutting into margins, the danger remains that the more expensive cabins will not be filled or require discounting. Cruise lines need to increase the number of high ticket paying passengers through marketing. But higher end travelers tend to be more fickle, since they have many more options available to them.

In a related note, Susquehanna Financials monthly survey of cruise travel agents found that advance cruise bookings in August fell 6.1% year-over- year, the worst decline recorded since the survey began three years ago. Prices ticked up 2.9%.

This exactly mirrors and supports the findings from both the August 2008 CruiseSearch Index and Cruise Price Index.

 

Mobile applications for increasing on-board revenues

Here is an idea.  Symbolically shed the vestiges of corporate life and ritually transition into the freestyle cruising culture.

Encourage owners to bring their Blackberry’s and iphones and upload a NCL widget.  In a fun and lighthearted way users would transform their “electronic lease” into a “personal freestyle cruising digital assistant.”

Talk about fish swimming against the school!

The widget would become passenger’s freestyle 2.0 on their phone - leading them through the leisure metamorphosis  - displaying shipboard services, event calendar, download pictures from phone to personal web page, delivering messages and even facilitating epayments.

Benefits:

  • The ritual transition communicates and strengthens the brand positioning
  • The widget tool increases and facilitates on-board spending
  • Acts as a retention device as the widget facilitates sending future “reminders” of the “freestyling” times once the passenger has returned back into the corporate office - along with offers to book next years vacation
  • First to market enhances image versus competition – particularly among a key market segment of business class professionals
  • Function off shipboard wifi or cell service

For example, a mobile campaign for Smirnoff vodka loads an application onto a user’s phone that guides them through how to include Smirnoff into a fun evening.  Users can enter the social situation they find themselves in – a business dinner, night out with the guys, or first date –and receive suggestions as to what cocktail order would be most appropriate for the situation.

The application even takes advantage of cross-promotional opportunities, suggesting bars and restaurants that are strategic partners, located in cities around the world, so that a business traveler can find an appropriate place to go while in a strange city.  And at the end of the night, the application will even call you a cab and give you directions back to your hotel.

Holland America has taken the first step in this direction with its custom e-brochures.

 

Cruise Ship 2.0

Web 2.0 is linking people.

Cruise 2.0 is linking cruisers to booking agents, travel discounters, reviews (by actual cruisers not professional critics) and self-created travel blogs.  Where is it going?

The article "Understanding the Psyche of Tomorrow's Travellers" states future cruisers “have grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, where landline telephones are considered a waste of space as they live on their cell phones and communicate via texting…prospective college roommates have already checked each other out on social networking sites, where they have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world.”

The trend is already picking up considerable momentum.  A recent article from Theodore Koumelis "Web 2.0 playing big role in decision process" states "research conducted in August 2008 by Prophis Research with online US adults has shown that, when compared with a range of offline and online sources for travel decision-making, Internet sources are largely seen to be near the top of the list."

I envision a cruise ship version of classmates.com.  Select the line, ship and date.  Proudly receive a “badge” (an electronic version of state stickers RV vacationers place on their vehicles).  This automatically invites you to link to all others who were passengers on the same ship – opening communication channels to facilitate discussions, share photos, blogs, videos etc.,  Additionally, this would be a multilingual site (as another Koumelis article importantly points out) to facilitate the expansive international cruise and online growth.

The website would facilitate communication about:

  • who else was on your cruise ship at the same time as you?
  • what they thought of the experience, or what other cruises they would recommend?
  • where they booked their travel or what they paid for the same trip?
  • What they recommend for on-board and offshore activities?
  • Ever meet someone on-board you want to get into contact with but don’t know how to find them?
  • Ever want to contact someone who cruised a specific ship to ask a question (how about what it was like on the Carnival Miracle that left New York City on Aug. 29 (click here for story)?

Yes, there are cruise groups on other sites, facebook, flickr, etc., and yes there are cruise review sites, CruiseCritic, Cruisemates.com etc., However, in the ever evolving world of the web there are always opportunities to bring the next viral application to the market.

I would like to hear you thoughts.  Please post your opinion.